[Transcribed and edited information from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland - 1868]
"HEMINGFORD GREY, (or East), a parish in the hundred of Toseland, county Huntingdon, 2 miles from St. Ives, its post town. It is a small village situated on the south bank of the river Ouse, which is navigable from Bedford to Lynn. It was given by Hardicanute to Ramsey Abbey, and by the Conqueror to Alberic, or Aubreyde-Vere; thence it descended to the Greys of Wilton, Newmans, &c. St. Ives union poorhouse is situated in this parish. The tithes were commuted for land and money payments under an Enclosure Act in 1806. The living is a vicarage* in the diocese of Ely value £177. The church, which is situated near the river, is an ancient structure, dedicated to St. James. The interior of the church contains some stained windows and a tomb of Sophia, sister to the "beautiful Miss Gummings," who was born in this parish, and became Duchess of Hamilton and Argyle.
The full 1841 Census of Hemingford Grey Parish is available as fiche set C98.
The full 1851 Census of Hemingford Grey Parish is available as fiche set C48.
A surname index of the 1881 Census of the St. Ives Registration District, in which Hemingford Grey was enumerated (RG11/1609, Folios 34a - 50a), and which took place on 3rd April 1881, is available, as fiche set C4.
A full transcription of the 1891 Census of the St. Ives Registration District (RG12/1234) in which Hemingford Grey parish was enumerated, and which took place on 5th April 1891, is available as fiche set C12.
The Church of St James consists of a chancel, north vestry, nave, north aisle, south aisle, west tower and south porch. The walls are of rubble with stone dressings and the roofs are covered with slates and lead.
The church is not mentioned in the Domesday survey of 1086, but in the 12th Century there was a church with a north aisle and, perhaps, a central tower, and of this the two western bays of the nave arcade still remains. Early in the 13th century, a south aisle was added and the chancel rebuilt and rather later in the century a complete reconstruction took place which involved pulling down the central tower and the formation of two arches in its place, and the lengthening of the aisles. The aisles appear to have been widened in the 14th century, and towards the end of that century the west tower was added and the western arch of the nave arcade rebuilt. Finally, in about 1500, the clearstory was added.
The spire was blown down in 1741 when the stump was levelled off and finished in its present form. The church was restored in 1859, involving the rebuilding of the north aisle, the porch and the addition of the vestry. The tower was restored in 1914.
The Huntingdonshire Marriage Indexes include marriages from this parish. These are, at present, issued in alphabetical listings in series: 1601-1700, and 1701-1754 and are available from the Huntingdonshire FHS.
Hemingford Grey was originally in the Registration District of St Ives, which later became a sub-district of Huntingdon. Since 1 April 1997, the parish has been now in the Registration District of Huntingdon.
The Hemingfords Local History Society was founded in 1994 to enable people to meet others who share an interest in local history of Hemingford Abbots and Hemingford Grey. The Society aims to increase knowledge of earlier times in the Hemingfords and the surrounding locality by research and the exchange of information. Activities include a programme of talks and visits.
The Society meets on the third Thursday of every month from September to May at the Pavilion, Hemingford Grey. For more information please see their website.